History professor, scholar to direct Drinko Academy


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History professor, scholar Montserrat Miller has taught world history, methodology and theory, food history and Spanish history during her time at Marshall University.

Montserrat Miller has been named the executive director of Marshall University’s John Deaver Drinko Academy to succeed Alan Gould, who has held the position since the academy’s establishment in 1994.

Miller joined the Marshall faculty as a scholar and professor of history in 1996, teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in world history, methodology and theory, food history and Spanish history. Miller said she hopes to continue the successful endeavors established by Gould and create fresh relationships with individuals and organizations focused on enriching the community.

“As executive director of the Drinko Academy, I will seek to balance tradition with innovation, continuing the very successful programs established by my predecessor, Dr. Alan Gould, but also pursuing a set of new collaborative relationships with individuals and organizations whose civic commitments are enriching our community,” Miller said. 

According to its website, the John Deaver Drinko Academy is intended to further public understanding of American institutions and societal responsibilities, emphasizing a common purpose and collective values. Leaders of the John Deaver Drinko Academy seek to revitalize participation in civic culture, such as voting and jury duty, beginning at the university level.

Miller said, “John and Elizabeth Drinko established the academy that bears their name at Marshall to recognize and support scholarly achievements, but also to foster programs and activities aimed at supporting and building our local, regional and national civic culture.”

Miller said she has had the privilege of working with Gould since the 1990s and praised his integral role in establishing the academy. She said Gould set an impressive standard for her to meet.

“The range of projects he has supported, the impact of his programming and the way in which he utilized the academy as an incubator, to establish entities such as the Simon Perry Center for Constitutional Democracy, are without precedent,” Miller said. “I am humbled to follow in his footsteps.” 

Gould also commended Miller as an excellent choice for the executive director position.

“I am most pleased Dr. Miller has assumed the mantle of executive director of the Drinko Academy,” Gould said. “As she commences her new position, I wish her a long and fulfilling career. She deserves it.”

Miller was named the 2007-08 Professor of the Year by the Faculty Merit Foundation of West Virginia. She has received numerous Marshall teaching awards, including the Charles E. Hedrick Outstanding Faculty Award, the College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Teacher Award and the Pickens-Queen Teaching Award. She has been heavily engaged in civil responsibilities, having served as president of the YWCA Board of Directors and founding Lucy’s Attic pantry to support working poor and homeless women.

Miller will officially begin her role as executive director on Jan. 1, 2018.

Caroline Kimbro can be contacted at [email protected].